At least 11 tornadoes touched down in Chicago suburbs, NW Indiana Tuesday evening: NWS

At least 11 tornadoes touched down in Chicago suburbs and northwest Indiana on Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service.

On Wednesday, the NWS confirmed EF-0 and EF-1 tornadoes were spotted in these locations, shared below:

  • Compton Tornado (Lee Co): EF-0
  • Waterman Tornado (DeKalb Co): EF-0
  • Hinckley to Big Rock Tornado (DeKalb/Kane Co): EF-0
  • Sugar Grove to Batavia Tornado (Kane Co): EF-1
  • Elburn to Campton Hills Tornado (Kane Co): EF-0
  • Geneva Tornado (Kane Co): EF-1
  • East Chicago to Gary Tornado (Lake, IN Co): EF-1
  • South Barrington Tornado (Cook Co): EF-0
  • Inverness Tornado (Cook Co): EF-1
  • Mundelein Tornado (Lake, IL): EF-1
  • Hoffman Estates Tornado (Cook Co): EF-0

After damaging storms roll through, the National Weather Service sends out survey crews during the daylight hours to assess the damage.

A survey team’s mission is to gather data in order to reconstruct a tornado’s life cycle, including where it occurred, when and where it initially touched down, and where it lifted. This reveals the tornado’s path length, width, and its magnitude.

There are very specific things these crews look for when examining possible tornado damage, and it may surprise you that it isn’t necessarily about how much damage has been done.

The pattern of the damage is actually what will lead crews to determine whether a tornado has touched down or not.

Tornado damage typically has a chaotic appearance, with larger uprooted trees often crossing each other. Straight-line wind damage often looks laid or flattened out, in the same direction.

The tornadoes came alongside severe thunderstorms that crashed through northern Illinois and northwest Indiana Tuesday night, which brought strong winds and large hail.

Temperatures dropped roughly 60 degrees overnight and dipped into the 20s on Wednesday. A warming trend begins on Thursday and by Sunday, the Chicago area will be near 70 degrees again.